Nowadays to become an elite level mixed martial artist you have to first be an elite level athlete. Gone are the days where a Tank Abbott-type fighter could get by on a powerful punch and a tough-as-nails attitude. You need to have a legit athletic pedigree to make it in the sport these days.


Mixed martial arts is now the playground of the super athlete, usually those who have already achieved championship glory in some other athletic endeavour. Be it combat sports or something else, the UFC is home to plenty multi-sports champions.

Here are 7 UFC fighters who were champions in other sports….

USA's Henry Cejudo celebrates his gold in 55 kilogram freestyle wrestling division after defeating Japan's Tomohiro Matsunaga in their gold medal match at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008. (AP Photo/Ed Wray)

7. Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo won a gold medal in greco-roman wrestling at the 2008 Beijing olympics. Cejudo was only 21 years old when he won the gold in China, so hopes were high that he might be to do the same thing 4 years later.

Unfortunately Cejudo failed to qualify for the 2012 olympics, and retired from the sport immediately there after. Much like he was at amateur wrestling, Cejudo was immediately successful in MMA. He won his first 6 fights and was signed to the UFC.

Once in the UFC the trend continued, with Cejudo winning his first 4 fights (all via unanimous decision) and earning a flyweight title fight with Demetrious Johnson.

Then Cejudo got a taste of what the competition is like at the very top tier of the sport, when Mighty Mouse knocked him out in under 3 minutes.

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.